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Nicene and Post Nicene-Fathers, Vol. I:
The Confessions: Chapter I

Early Church Fathers  Index     

Chapter I.—He Calls Upon God, and Proposes to Himself to Worship Him.

1. I Call upon Thee, my God, my mercy, who madest me, and who didst not forget me, though forgetful of Thee. I call Thee into 1168 my soul, which by the desire which Thou inspirest in it Thou preparest for Thy reception. Do not Thou forsake me calling upon Thee, who didst anticipate me before I called, and didst importunately urge with manifold calls that I should hear Thee from afar, and be converted, and call upon Thee who calledst me. For Thou, O Lord, hast blotted out all my evil deserts, that Thou mightest not repay into my hands wherewith I have fallen from Thee, and Thou hast anticipated all my good deserts, that Thou mightest repay into Thy hands wherewith Thou madest me; because before I was, Thou wast, nor was I [anything] to which Thou mightest grant being. And yet behold, I am, out of Thy goodness, anticipating all this which Thou hast made me, and of which Thou hast made me. For neither hadst Thou stood in need of me, nor am I such a good as to be helpful unto Thee, 1169 my Lord and God; not that I may so serve Thee as though Thou wert fatigued in working, or lest Thy power may be less if lacking my assistance nor that, like the land, I may so cultivate Thee that Thou wouldest be uncultivated did I cultivate Thee not but that I may serve and worship Thee, to the end that I may have well-being from Thee; from whom it is that I am one susceptible of well-being.



See i. sec. 2, above.


Similar views as to God’s not having need of us, though He created us, and as to our service being for our and not His advantage, will be found in his De Gen. ad Lit. viii. 11; and Con. Adv. Leg. et Proph. i. 4.

Next: Chapter II

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